Never Lose Your Luggage Again with Smart Unit TrackerMarch 05, 2015
By Lance Powers
Lost luggage is one of those nagging worries that many of us push to the back of our minds as we fly to our destination. Every day 90,000 suitcases are lost by the airlines. 3,000 of these are never recovered. Until you spot your luggage at the baggage carousel, it's not a sure thing that you'll leave with a change of clothes. To alleviate the stress of this situation, Smart Unit has designed a device to let you know exactly where your luggage is at all times.
Smart Unit is an anti-theft device, about the size of a cell phone, that travels in your luggage. Using geo-location technology, the Smart Unit can inform you of its location on a map at any time. Using your smartphone, you can be alerted if your luggage has been opened during your travels and even notified when your luggage is arriving on the conveyor belt at your destination. With Smart Unit, the location of your luggage is never more than a click away.
After packing for your trip, the Smart Unit is placed inside your suitcase or luggage. The device has sensors that allow it to detect when the plane is taking off and landing. During the flight, it shuts itself off so as to adhere to the FAA rules of zero radio frequency transmissions, it also helps it save battery power. Once the plane lands, the unit reactivates itself and transmits using a GSM/GPRS network so that it can alert you and answer requests.
The Smart Unit contains a Lithium Polymer battery - similar to a cell phone battery, but more stable than Lithium Ion batteries that have been known to self-ignite (on planes). The battery should last for a about a week on a full charge and is recharged like a traditional cell phone.
In addition to using the GSM/GPRS network to communicate, the Smart Unit also communicates using Bluetooth. Using a Bluetooth link between the device and your smartphone, you can create an invisible leash, up to 30 meters, on your suitcase. This could be useful if you are at the airport and somebody decides to grab your luggage and take it for a walk when you're not looking.
The Smart Unit has the ability to be shared. For example, if you have a spouse or friend that will be taking a trip, you can create a sub-user on the device that will allow it to be used by others while still protecting your privacy (the Smart Unit can store your travel history).
The device does require a wireless subscription to operate. The first year of operation is included free with the purchase. After the first year, a $2/month fee is required. If you're a frequent traveler, this fee will probably be insignificant. If you only fly once or twice a year, it may be a judgment call as to whether it's worth paying for the service.
The Smart Unit is being developed by Lev Technology and was introduced as a Kickstarter project. The project received full funding and should be available very soon.
Image Credit: LEV Technology